Little Havana is an urban area in the Miami city setting as characterized by a robust street life, good restaurants, several enterprises, parks, banks and a few cigar factories. The housing structures are mainly apartments although there are other housing structures.
Physical Environmental Considerations
General Identifying Data
Little Havana is a neighborhood in west of downtown Miami in Florida, in the Miami-Dade County. Like the rest of Miami, Little Havana is an area in a larger plain topographically, with the Miami River forming its boundary to the North (Miami.gov.com, 2010).
The climate of the larger area, city of Miami, is described as semi-tropical although there are a few extreme weather conditions due to hurricanes. The annual average rainfall is usually about 60 inches, with the months of July and August being both the hottest and the wettest. Most of the days are sunny but neither humid nor hot, and nights are characterized by cool temperatures.
Boundaries and Area
Little Havana’s boundaries are the Miami River in the north, SW 16th Street in the south, the SR 9/West 27th Avenue westwards and I-95 in the east. It has also been said to extend as far west as LeJeune Road/West 42 Avenue when taking considerations of the demographics that describe the area. The area occupied by Little Havana is officially cited as 4.208 square miles although the area is said to extend for example westwards (Miami.gov.com, 2010). Environment In terms of sanitation, Little Havana is served by the Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department. Since the major form of housing is composed of apartments, Little Havana’s water, sewer services, garbage considerations follows these lines. In this regard, it is observed that most of the apartment owners pay for water supply, sewer and trash removal. The Little Havana community is thus not in hazard from lack of water supply, sewer and garbage collection. The other consideration is pollution which has to take into account the not only the larger Miami city area but also the state of Florida. First, Miami-Dade County ranks in the upper percentile in terms of water and air toxicant releases. Florida is also home to 7 of seven air polluters under watch from the federal EPA. Although, most of the figures are still below the harmful levels, the state and thus the residents in Little Havana are exposed to averagely higher levels of releases than the national averages. The pollution index for the Little Havana neighborhood is 43,296,200, whereas for the state of Florida the figure is 16,442,453 and the national average is a significantly lower 6,623,939. This means that the Little Havana community is at greater risk than the rest of the USA from chemical releases that include ozone depleting substances like 1,1-dichloro-1-fluoroethane and cancer risk substances such as chromium (Scorecard, 2011). A consideration closely related to overall pollution is the air quality. As discussed earlier, Florida has 7 factories under the watch-list of federal EPA, and although the air is clear and odorless, particulate releases are present including ash and carbon. The Air Quality Score for Little Havana (also for Miami and the rest of Florida) is 33, while the national average is 37. Due to this, the residents of Little Havana are subjected to averagely higher risks of carcinogenic, developmental, immunotoxicant and skin toxicants than the rest of the USA (Scorecard, 2011). Little Havana and the wider state of Florida has stable food supply from the sea, farms and processed sources. Little